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Newcastle’s move for Granit Xhaka would be a risk but could work out well

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

Granit Xhaka could leave Arsenal in January, and according to The Times Newcastle are interested in taking him off their hands.

What’s the word?

Xhaka’s unhappiness at the Gunners is now no secret thanks to his extraordinary outburst in the home match against Crystal Palace a few weeks ago, where his display to the fans was rather unfriendly.

His antics have cost him his captaincy, and he has subsequently missed the two matches since, with a possibility that he could remain sidelined for the foreseeable future.

The Times suggest that if that was to happen, he would request a January move – and Newcastle could be his destination, with Steve Bruce thought to be a big admirer of the Switzerland captain.

However, due to his £100,000-a-week salary a permanent departure may be out of the question, but since the Magpies would be able to offer him Premier League football and perhaps a key role in the team, the 27-year-old could be open to a short-term switch, with Euro 2020 not far away.

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Worth the risk?

Much of the hostility that exists between Xhaka, who cost £35m im 2016, and the Arsenal faithful has come about due to their belief that the midfielder has underperformed.

That, along with his poor attitude, could be of concern to Newcastle, particularly as they will probably have to spend a lot of money on his wages.

Also, the Magpies are not in urgent need of a midfield addition, with the Longstaff brothers along with Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden all capable of fulfilling a first-team role.

However, none of them can match Xhaka’s 87% pass accuracy or 61 average passes per game, and in new surroundings away from all the vitriol at the Emirates he could begin to find his best form once more.

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After all, he is the skipper of a national team, and will be determined to impress after the recent fall-out, as his place in the European Championships could come under threat.

As a result, he would probably be a useful addition to the Newcastle squad, and if on a short-term basis it could be hugely beneficial to all parties.

Article title: Newcastle’s move for Granit Xhaka would be a risk but could work out well

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